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giving to steal and cruel kind,
a heart to fear,to doubt a mind,
- Yeah, this chunk is a little obscure, but we're going to go with the idea that we're hearing more about the bad stuff of the world.
- So, these lines could be saying that the generous spirit of giving has turned into stealing and kindness has turned into cruelty.
- Hearts are filled with fear, and they fill the mind with doubts.
- Ugh, we're getting depressed.
to differ a disease of same,
conform the pinnacle of am
- These last two lines seem to be about one of Cummings's favorites topics: the dangers of conformity.
- The "disease of same" seems to be getting at the idea that everybody trying to be alike is some kind of awful plague. Those who "differ" are all being infected.
- We think the image of the "pinnacle of am" is just the jam—what a great way to describe the power of the individual.
- Cummings is having fun with "to be" verbs again, and has his speaker use "am" to embody the self.
- So, if it's a "pinnacle of am," it's kind of putting the power of the individual on a pedestal.
- Unfortunately, these lines seem to be saying that this "disease of same" is out to "conform" this tower of individualism and make it like everything else.
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